Kartemquin Films in association with the Indo-American Heritage Museum, Apna Ghar, the National Alliance of Mental Health, the Independent Filmmaker Project Chicago, and the Eyes on India Festival present a week of screenings for Dinesh Sabu’s Unbroken Glass at the Gene Siskel Film Center. Beginning Friday the 17th through Thursday the 23rd, Sabu will be in attendance for post-screening Q&As in what’s certain to be a lively discussion, particularly in the wake of a Trump administration that more or less displays a disinterest in the continued benefits, (particularly in regards to the mental health) offered by the Affordable Care Act.
The discussion that can arise from Unbroken Glass may prove to be a little more interesting than the film itself, which serves as a personal essay for first-time director Dinesh Sabu. Unbroken Glass recounts Sabu grappling with the death of his father and the subsequent suicide of his mother, leaving him orphaned at just the age of six. Sabu captures testimonials of his brothers, sisters, and extended family in an engaging effort to clarify his mother’s mental health and the fractured marriage that may have only exacerbated her schizophrenia. Their responses are not necessarily answers, but rather insights that shape our understanding of the Sabu family’s personal hardships and the catharsis that these people experience in their ability to candidly discuss the anxieties of their past.
Life breaks people down in awful ways, and you gather the suffering and abandonment that the Sabu family endures is not merely lip service to trauma but something more tangibly painful and real. Still, with a runtime of under an hour, Unbroken Glass is too brief to gather a clearer sense of the emotional anxieties that the family really grapples with, particularly the two sisters who would raise Dinesh and his two other brothers. An abbreviated interview with Dinesh’s sister that concludes the film shows her in her thirties, having sacrificed her twenties to raising her brothers, now attempting to move on and start her own family. The interview is an emotional crescendo that articulates the reverberating affects of loss. The worse your past, the worse your future may be the fatalistic perspective. But in her case, it may not apply.
For ticketing information, please refer to the Gene Siskel Film Center’s website here.